Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Our Animals

Item ThumbnailThe cattle are gone now, the family that keeps them here took them in the late fall and we won't have any again until spring.  So for now, our animals are simply dogs and a guinea pig.  Well, two guinea pigs, Arliss' class has a guinea pig and we "won" the pig for all of Christmas break.
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Rover waiting to be chased
Our dogs are 5 years old and 2 1/2 years old.  Rover, our Brittany, is 35 pounds and five years old.  He is orange and white, with greying eyebrows and an insatiable desire to chase anything that moves, even a little.  I mean even a couple of inches.  If his chew toy falls off the couch he MUST get up off the couch, pick it up, chew on it, parade around the room to make sure we all see that he has his chew toy, then maybe he will get back up on the couch and lay down again.  Or maybe he will chew on it a little, until Rufus, our black lab, comes along and steals it from him.
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Rover after a romp in our pond
Rufus is 100 pounds of puppy adolescence.  He believes he is a lap dog and cannot understand why Andrew doesn't want him to be on the couch with him.  Could it be that Rufus is big enough to take over the couch?
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Rufus in the hay field 
Rufus likes whatever chewing item is in Rover's mouth.  He doesn't think it is necessary to find his own, instead he knows he needs to have Rover's toy.  We buy two chew toys every time, but as anyone with two toddlers knows, the younger one wants whatever the older one has.
Tonight as I put the dogs' food into their dishes, the guinea pigs started to squeal.  Apparently the sound of dog food going into a dish made them think they needed some too.

Our guinea pig, Katie Bug, is a fat and sassy pig, she loves hay and carrots and will squeal when she thinks she needs more attention.  The classroom guinea pig, S'mores, is a sleek haired pig, with a lot of energy.  She is commonly found on top of her igloo house instead of inside of it.  She likes to squeal whenever she feels like it.  Arliss told me she likes to squeal during spelling tests.  She must think that she needs to make noise when the class is too quiet.

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Rufus taking his first swim in our pond
Rover and Rufus were raised in the suburbs.  Their only experience has been a fenced-in backyard.  Coming to a 160 acre farm has been quite the lesson for them.  We don't have a fence around the farmhouse (kind of hard to fence in a farm), so we tied clothesline to a tree and the dogs can be outside, but not run off.
For a time I allowed the dogs to run outside as long as I was with them, so they could get a taste of their territory.  I don't  do it often and I certainly don't do it at night.  We have coyotes around here and they aren't afraid of humans.  One afternoon I opened the door to let the dogs run and Rover went out like a streak.  I caught a glimpse of brown running near the cornstalks.  Rover was running at a deer's flank and keeping stride with it.  The deer had no idea what to do, by the time I realized what was happening Rufus was out the door as well.  I looked up and down the road to make sure no cars were coming, because Rover was still determined to catch this "thing" that was in his yard.  Across the road, into the neighboring soybean field the dogs ran, suddenly another deer started to run, now Rover and Rufus were after three deer.  There had been two in my yard and another had been waiting in the soybeans.  By the time I got the dogs back in the house, I was out of breath and didn't know whether to beat the dogs or laugh.  I could see the headlines now, "SUBURBAN DOG CATCHES DINNER."
Oh well.  I do know that between Arliss, Travis, and the dogs I will never be bored.  I just wish I could find a way to keep the red hair I have from turning totally white before I turn 42, I know the boys and dogs won't help me.

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